The recipients of the 2022 Ocala Horse Properties Rebecca Farm Flight Grant were chosen today in a drawing at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS Equestrian. Rob and Chris Desino from Ocala Horse Properties and Sarah and Rebecca Broussard from The Event at Rebecca Farm made the selections by randomly choosing miniature airplanes with the applicants’ names on them.
The year 2020 was filled with challenges and obstacles in the sport of eventing. It also allowed for individual reflection, assessment, and evaluation. From this progressive thinking came the evolution of the Going Forward USEA Members Grant. This educational opportunity provided the possibility to transform members’ lives, careers, and horsemanship, along with enriching the sport of eventing.
From his first outing at the Novice level in 2020 to his last outing of the 2021 season at the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event at the CCI2*-L level, Ocala Horse Properties’ 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse Gelding Shanroe Cooley (Dallas x Shanroe Sapphire) amassed 15 wins, never placed out of the top three, and continues to boast a spotless cross-country jumping record. With Liz Halliday-Sharp in the tack, the young gelding’s consistency was rewarded by being named the 2021 USEA Preliminary Horse of the Year and the USEA 6-Year-Old Preliminary Horse of the Year.
The Turner family’s 16-year-old Anglo European mare On Cue (Cabri d’Elle x On High) has had no shortage of headlines written about her recently. Her 2021 season with 2021 World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year Boyd Martin can be summed up in one word: impressive. Out of the mare’s six official outings in 2021, On Cue brought home five top-five finishes with four of those being international placings.
When James and Helen Alliston saw the chestnut Canadian Warmblood yearling Nemesis (Novalis 46 x Maesy) online, they decided to take a bit of a gamble and purchase the young horse sight unseen from his breeder Danielle Burgess in Kamloops, British Columbia. They never imagined that their calculated risk would pay off when several years later Nemesis would be named the 2021 USEA 7-Year-Old Intermediate Leaderboard Champion.
Young rider Alexandra Baugh has had a stand-out year by anyone’s account. The 20-year-old athlete is not only competing horses at the two, three, and four-star levels, but she also earned herself the title of 2021 RevitaVet USEA Young Rider of the Year. Baugh is based out of Lexington, Kentucky with her four top mounts and was the runner-up of the same title the year prior, but her successes with this year’s team proved unbeatable. Her string includes Altorac Farm's 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding Mr Candyman (Canto x Mantara), her own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding I Spye (Harlequin du Carel x Lambardos Corner), Altorac Farm's 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding MHS Fernhill Finale (Verdi x MHS Ryans Daughter), and Altorac Farm's 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding Dogano de L’Oiseliere (Ogano Sitte x Joly Star).
Did you know that the USEA Foundation currently administers 15 grants and scholarships designed to help event riders reach their goals? From funds used to assist juniors have access to additional training to aiding up-and-coming riders fund international competition to helping adult amateurs gain education, the current grant opportunities offered by the USEA Foundation has something for almost everyone.
In 2021 the team from Ocala Horse Properties, led by Rob and Chris Desino, visited The Event at Rebecca Farm for the first time. In awe of the quality of the event, they felt that the entire eventing community, especially those on the East Coast of the United States, needed to make this event a part of their yearly competition plans. Inspired to take action Ocala Horse Properties announced during the 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention that they would step up to provide two grants to make the trip possible for horse and rider combinations at the CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L levels. Ocala Horse Properties has a long history of supporting and sponsoring three-day eventing, but this is the first time that they have established a grant through the USEA Foundation.
The USEA Century Ride Award, sponsored by Spokane Sport Horse Farm, celebrates horse and rider pairs who complete an event with a combined age of 100 or more. After awarding the first-ever official USEA Century Ride Award to Mary Sawyer earlier in 2022, the USEA is thrilled to share that a second Century Ride was achieved at the beginning of February at the Galway Downs 2022 Kickoff H.T. when Susanna Rodell, age 73, of Long Beach, California and her own 28-year-old Thoroughbred mare My Fair Lady V (Rackensack x G.J.’s Sister) placed fourth in their Beginner Novice division.
The life of an adult amateur is never easy. Between balancing school or work with riding, and factoring in all of life’s other responsibilities, it can be quite a challenge. This year’s USEA Adult Amateur of the Year Award winner Katie Lichten of Hamilton, Massachusetts is no stranger to the dedication required to make all of those scales balance equally. As an active student in the business school at the University of Virginia and a four-star eventer, Lichten often finds herself juggling a handful of roles and responsibilities as she pursues her degree in IT and Business Analytics as well as a upcoming transition to professional rider.
Earning the title of World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year is a huge honor, but earning it five times is a testament to a lot of hard work, exceptional horses, supportive owners, a great team, and a whole lot of grit. The 2021 World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year winner, Boyd Martin, has all of that and more, leading him to earn this title for the fifth time in his career.